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Kevin Durant to Co-Produce Documentary

Brandon Contes

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Fox Sports Films announced a new project in collaboration with Kevin Durant’s company, Thirty Five Media, as part of their “MAGNIFY” series. The documentary will follow the lives of incarcerated basketball players at the San Quentin State Prison.

“MAGNIFY” was launched by Fox Sports in November 2017 to compete with ESPN’s 30 for 30. Their first film was co-produced by LeBron James’ multimedia company, UNINTERRUPTED. In February, a second project was released in conjunction with co-producer Dwayne Wade, now Kevin Durant gets his opportunity to tell a story on the Fox Sports’ platform through his documentary titled, “Q Ball.”

Kevin Durant and his Thirty Five Media business partner, Rich Kleiman will serve as the film’s executive producers along with Jamie Patricof and Katie McNeill from Hunting Lane Films and Jordan deBree of HEIST. Emmy Award winner Michael Tolajian will direct the documentary.

“My first visit to San Quentin with my teammates was an unforgettable experience that moved me and made me want to bring it to a larger audience,” said Durant. “This film shines a light on these individuals, their struggles and their connection through basketball.”

Durant has visited the prison with some of his Golden State Warriors teammates which helped fuel the idea for the film. “Q Ball” depicts the inmates’ struggles and shows how basketball helps in their search to find freedom and redemption.

“This commitment to deeper storytelling – pointing the cameras where they’re needed most — diversifies our voice and gets audiences thinking about sports in a broader context beyond wins and losses,” said Charlie Dixon, EVP of content at FOX Sports when MAGNIFY was launched. “The aim is to create dialogue and hopefully affect change in the communities where these stories are told.” Kevin Durant’s “Q Ball” falls right in line with Dixon’s vision for MAGNIFY.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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